Well I took a couple of days off last week to extend the Fourth of July holiday and I was able to get in several more trips to the field. I did have a few more minor mishaps but also a few successes, so all in all, a great couple of days!
I got my F4F back up in the air after repairing the tail feathers that got damaged when she blew off the bench on the 4th. The first flight was a bit hairy as as it took a LOT of up elevator trim to get her flying right. She was porpoising all over the place while I was trying to get my thumbs in the right place to click the trim. I have not had to click trim settings in flight for a while, so I would pull up elevator, let go to click the trim, but before I could get my thumb there, she was nosing down.
After a few tense minutes, I got her sorted and she was flying great again. After landing, you could see that the left elevator was deformed a bit more than I thought causing the trim problem.
I took her back up again and had a great flight, but on landing, managed to crack the cowl! Fortunately, replacement cowls are still available even though the plane has been discontinued.
Next, I decided to try the Hurricane again. This time, I took off from the paved portion of the runway, and I got her in the air with no incident. Once again, I had a bit of a battle with the trim and again had to dial in a bunch of up elevator! As this was only the second flight for this plane (and I was shaking so bad with the first flight that I never got to trimming!) this was not really surprising (although the amount of trim required did surprise me a bit). I got two conservative flights in with acceptable (if not pretty) landings and called it a day.
I got back out to the field again the next day (without the F4F), but did bring out my FT Viggen. I’m still amazed at how well this cheap Dollar Tree foam board plane flies. While I can keep it under control, it definitely has potential to go beyond my (current) abilities. After the first flight of around 5 min length, the battery (a 4S 3700 mAh) was down to only 14% charge with one cell down to 3.69 volts! Way to low. I reset my flight timer to three and half minutes for future flights.
Finally, I had another mishap with the Hurricane. It started with a fantastic flight. I started really getting comfortable with her and felt like she was dialed in just about right. On landing, I was not too happy with the final approach (I was afraid she was drifting too close to the tall grass off the runway) and when she was just about to touch down, I decided to go around. Well, I was way too late and as soon as I applied power, the left wing tip stalled, dropped and hit the ground. Of course, she ground looped. I thought she was a goner, but the only real permanent damage was another broken prop. Other damage consisted of the right gear strut pulling out of the retract unit, the right simulated exhaust manifold popping off, and some scrapes and dings in the foam. Truth be told, it was cheap learning opportunity,
I hit the LHS on my home from the field and picked up a new cowl for the F4F. They also had a new-old-stock stabilizer assembly for the F4F (no longer available from Horizon), so I grabbed that too (just in case). I also picked up a couple of props for the Hurricane.
Today I got around to getting the Hurricane back together again. The gear strut bolted right back in, and with a few minutes of minor tweaking and adjusting the gear was operating smoothly again. A few drops of hot glue got the exhaust manifold reattached and the new prop bolted right on. She was ready to go again, except …
Earlier (before my last flight), I had noticed the seam on the right rear side of the fuselage seemed to have opened up a little. This was definitely there before my ground loop incident, but was something I had just ignored. I decided to wick in some thin foam-safe CA today while doing my other minor repairs. You can’t really tell from this picture, but I ended up making a bit of mess with CA running everywhere but where I wanted it to go. Oh well, no real harm and no one will ever call this bird a hangar queen!